President Uhuru Kenyatta has told the global community that Kenya will lead Eastern Africa counter-terrorism efforts by working with regional governments and partners.
At the same time, the President reiterated that Kenya will leverage on its membership in the UN Security Council to contribute more to global peace and security.
“Kenya aims to provide leadership in the Horn of Africa by exploring and implementing diplomatic measures in counter-terrorism financing and to work with partners in the broader spectrum of efforts within counter-terrorism, as well as to stem other forms of transnational organized crime.
“Through Kenya’s non-permanent member seat at the United Nations Security Council, Kenya further aims to contribute to global peace and security, with the ultimate goal being the attainment of sustainable development for the year 2021-2022,” the President said.
The Head of State spoke Wednesday evening at State House, Nairobi during a virtual meeting of the Aqaba Process on COVID-19 convened by King Abdullah II of Jordan.
The meeting brought together several global leaders among them Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and UN Secretary General Antonio Guteress to discuss the nexus between the Covid-19 pandemic and global security.
President Kenyatta said COVID-19 is a catalyst to global insecurity by amplifying pre-existing security and contributing socio-economic difficulties.
“The pandemic has been a catalyst for underlying risk trends, with many countries facing sharply deteriorating political, security, criminal and governance situations,” the President said.
President Kenyatta said the pandemic had slowed down global and regional crisis and conflict resolution efforts thereby escalating tensions and negating peace-building gains made over the years.
In the Horn of Africa, the President said COVID-19 had heightened potential for terrorist acts, worsened the refugee crisis, and led to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
To address security challenges made worse by COVID-19, President Kenyatta said frontline states in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism should by assisted by strengthening their capacities to deal with both emerging and pre-existing security challenges.
Prime Minister Trudeau called for the involvement of women in the global security conversation so as to ensure that diverse voices are heard.
The Canadian leader decried disinformation brought about by fake news saying it was fueling anxiety among populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Duterte pitched for “openness, deeper solidarity and collaboration” in the global response to COVID-19 and warned against unilateralism which he said was helping fuel insecurity.